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Are developers still making Mac OS X Dashboard widgets?
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Big Mac
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Aug 4, 2009, 06:34 PM
 
Are developers still actively making Mac OS X Dashboard widgets, or have they all moved to the iPhone OS and the App Store?

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Brien
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Aug 4, 2009, 07:43 PM
 
I see them every once in awhile.
     
hayesk
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Aug 4, 2009, 09:33 PM
 
There's no money in dashboard widgets and Apple isn't marketing the feature, so you're left with hobbyists, and the odd corporation that employees a Mac geek.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Aug 4, 2009, 10:35 PM
 
Perhaps Apple should move widgets to an app store model, as a starting point toward a Mac App Store.

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Jawbone54
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Aug 5, 2009, 02:05 AM
 
I'm still thinking about Googling the Terminal command that disables Dashboard.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Aug 5, 2009, 02:27 AM
 
If you don't open it, it won't run.

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Chuckit
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Aug 5, 2009, 02:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
I'm still thinking about Googling the Terminal command that disables Dashboard.
It's sudo don't hit F12.
Chuck
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Big Mac  (op)
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Aug 5, 2009, 03:23 AM
 
Heh haha.

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Dakar V
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Aug 5, 2009, 09:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
I'm still thinking about Googling the Terminal command that disables Dashboard.
Anyone who hates the Dashboard is a communist.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Aug 5, 2009, 12:11 PM
 
Somewhat related news:

Bodega Mac App Store

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mduell
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Aug 5, 2009, 12:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
I'm still thinking about Googling the Terminal command that disables Dashboard.
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
If you don't open it, it won't run.
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
It's sudo don't hit F12.
Originally Posted by Dakar V View Post
Anyone who hates the Dashboard is a communist.
I liked dashboard, but it was halving my battery life. I only had about 10 widgets up, all Apple provided, but it was not letting the CPU sleep at all. defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES changed my life.
     
Chuckit
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Aug 5, 2009, 01:32 PM
 
I hate Dashboard, so I don't push F12 and thus it doesn't affect my battery life at all.
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Dakar V
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Aug 5, 2009, 01:37 PM
 
Is F12 some default setting? On the new keyboards its F4, F12 is Increase Volume.
     
Chuckit
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Aug 5, 2009, 01:52 PM
 
F12 is the system default. The new keyboards with fn keys have their own special functions on the F-keys by default, but I always kill that because it messes with Quark.
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Dakar V
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Aug 5, 2009, 01:54 PM
 
Oh Jesus, people still use Quark? What a bumpy ride your OS X journey must have been.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Aug 5, 2009, 02:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I hate Dashboard, so I don't push F12 and thus it doesn't affect my battery life at all.
Dashboard widgets still run in the background even if you don't open Dashboard. You can remove all the widgets when you're in Dashboard, then the waste will be minimal. But not zero.
     
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Aug 5, 2009, 03:04 PM
 
Dashboard in Tiger was an awful pig. Dashboard in Leopard is fine. I keep a calculator, weather, and currency converter there, but not much else.
     
Laminar
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Aug 5, 2009, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Dashboard widgets still run in the background even if you don't open Dashboard. You can remove all the widgets when you're in Dashboard, then the waste will be minimal. But not zero.
I didn't think the individual widgets "started up" until the first time you open the Dashboard after a reboot, so if you never open the Dashboard, the widgets wouldn't start.
     
Art Vandelay
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Aug 5, 2009, 04:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I didn't think the individual widgets "started up" until the first time you open the Dashboard after a reboot, so if you never open the Dashboard, the widgets wouldn't start.
That's how it is.
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ghporter
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Aug 5, 2009, 04:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
That's how it is.
And as annoying as it is to have to wait while they ALL initialize after a reboot, at least you know that they're not doing anything at all until you open Dashboard...

I like widgets, and I like how simple they are to create. Except for some overhead in putting together the support files, it's as simple as writing a decent web page. I wish iPhone apps were this simple...

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Big Mac  (op)
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Aug 5, 2009, 05:02 PM
 
They are, if all you want to do is make an iPhone web app, which is what Apple originally promoted as a good solution to iPhone development. They're not if you want to have something native that uses native features.

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Chuckit
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Aug 5, 2009, 06:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
They are, if all you want to do is make an iPhone web app, which is what Apple originally promoted as a good solution to iPhone development. They're not if you want to have something native that uses native features.
Which is also true of Dashboard widgets!
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Dakar V
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Aug 5, 2009, 06:12 PM
 
They should combine the two. God knows people would love to run some iPhone apps on their desktop.

(Yes, i realize there'd be some serious hurdles)
     
ghporter
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Aug 5, 2009, 08:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
They are, if all you want to do is make an iPhone web app, which is what Apple originally promoted as a good solution to iPhone development. They're not if you want to have something native that uses native features.
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Which is also true of Dashboard widgets!
Writing a dashboard widget can be as simple as using a little JavaScript and copying the files in the SDK. I could not begin to figure out how to start with the iPhone SDK. Now I'm rusty in coding, I'll admit that, but the whole development process for iPhone apps seems to be much more complex and rigorous. I got the iPhone SDK because I wanted to see if I could build a tiny little app to give me the day of the year (the count of days since the beginning of the year), which I use for various purposes. Nope. With all the geegaws and bells and whistles involved in just downloading the SDK, I was overwhelmed and I gave up.

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TheoCryst
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Aug 5, 2009, 10:33 PM
 
See, and I'm proficient in Cocoa but don't know anything about Javascript. To me, iPhone apps are painless to write, but Widgets are some form of black magic (I've tried several times before, and given up every time). It's all relative.

Any ramblings are entirely my own, and do not represent those of my employers, coworkers, friends, or species
     
Chuckit
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Aug 5, 2009, 10:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Writing a dashboard widget can be as simple as using a little JavaScript and copying the files in the SDK. I could not begin to figure out how to start with the iPhone SDK.
What we're saying is: Writing a Dashboard widget that doesn't access underlying system functionality is the same thing as writing a Web page. You can write a Web page for the iPhone without going through the SDK. The iPhone SDK is equivalent to Cocoa.
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CharlesS
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Aug 5, 2009, 11:10 PM
 
I quite like Dashboard. The first thing I always do after rebooting my Mac is fire it up and then hide it so I won't have to wait for the widgets to start up the next time I want to use them.

Granted, most of the widgets I use are Apple-provided - I use the Weather widget every day before I head out of the house (speaking of which: holy crap, it's gonna be almost 100° this weekend), and I also use the Dictionary, Yellow Pages, Unit Converter, and Calculator widgets regularly. I make occasional use of the Note Pad, Translation, Address Book, and White Pages widgets, and I also have a third-party widget for converting between decimal, hexadecimal, Base64, etc. as well as one for converting Unicode characters into those HTML entities for use with web work. I've also got the World Clock and Calendar widgets open for no particular reason. Oh, and occasionally I see something interesting on the This Day in History widget. As you may guess, I've got a big screen.

If Apple were to remove Dashboard as some of you people seem to want, I'd be quite upset.

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turtle777
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Aug 5, 2009, 11:20 PM
 
I actually grew quite fond of the web snippets that one can create for Dashboard.

I created some to show me USD - EUR and USD - CHF exchange rates, w/o me having to pull up the website everytime.

-t
     
tooki
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Aug 6, 2009, 07:18 AM
 
Um, you know that Dashboard's converter widget does currency, right?
     
ghporter
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Aug 6, 2009, 07:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
What we're saying is: Writing a Dashboard widget that doesn't access underlying system functionality is the same thing as writing a Web page. You can write a Web page for the iPhone without going through the SDK. The iPhone SDK is equivalent to Cocoa.
You're talking about something more advanced that pulling the system date and time, right? Like working with the file system, or something like that?

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turtle777
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Aug 6, 2009, 08:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
Um, you know that Dashboard's converter widget does currency, right?
So ? That would mean I have to type something.

Also, my snippet shows me the last three days.

If I use the Dashboard, I might as well be outright lazy

-t
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Aug 6, 2009, 08:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
You're talking about something more advanced that pulling the system date and time, right? Like working with the file system, or something like that?
Without using the iPhone SDK you can write iPhone "web apps" that run in Safari. If you can accomplish what you want in a web browser (which it sounds like you can since you say you can do it in widget form) then you can write a web app and save a link to it on your iPhone home screen. If you need more than web app functionality, you have to turn to the iPhone SDK, which is a programming toolkit for the iPhone. iPhone web apps are the analogy to OS X widgets, except that widgets are a little more integrated with the platform because you download them to your computer, they have special OS X interface features, and they have access to some limitedly expanded OS X features that normal browser web pages don't get access to (I believe).
( Last edited by Big Mac; Aug 6, 2009 at 09:26 AM. )

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CharlesS
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Aug 6, 2009, 12:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
You're talking about something more advanced that pulling the system date and time, right? Like working with the file system, or something like that?
I haven't done any development for Dashboard, but Apple's page on it claims that you can call scripts written in sh, tcsh, bash, tcl, perl, Ruby, and AppleScript from it, so I'd figure that you could probably do just about anything you want, especially since those languages could be used to launch any other executable code you might have.

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mitchell_pgh
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Aug 6, 2009, 12:21 PM
 
It's funny because this was one of those "major features" that was part of an OS release... which I never use.

I am not saying that the dashboard isn't useful, but I never use it.
     
moonmonkey
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Aug 8, 2009, 07:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
Um, you know that Dashboard's converter widget does currency, right?
I don't trust the currency exchange function, I don't know if its the widget or the data source, but very occasionally it makes a very big mistake.
     
nonhuman
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Aug 10, 2009, 11:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by moonmonkey View Post
I don't trust the currency exchange function, I don't know if its the widget or the data source, but very occasionally it makes a very big mistake.
Yeah, I've definitely seen major differences between the Dashboard widgets currency rates and the rates in other places.
     
nonhuman
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Aug 10, 2009, 11:25 AM
 
As for iPhone app development using the SDK, I've never done any cocoa development (or anything else with Obj-C), but I found it quite easy to build a very simple iPhone app. For me, at least, the trick for learning new things in programming has always been to find good tutorials that make it easy to build some sample app that I can then hack around with. It helps to have some familiarity with the Model-View-Controller paradigm as well, fortunately several years of web development had already introduced me to that (but it was a bitch to pick up in the first place).

I was using the iPhone booklets provided by The Big Nerd Ranch at their iPhone development class (my manager went and loved it, hopefully I'll be able to get work to send me to one of their classes next year).
     
   
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